Staff Bios

  • Tom Lachocki

    Chief Executive Officer

    Tom earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Louisiana State University and his B.S. from Lock Haven University. He has held positions in research and business development in recreational-water treatment, surfactants, lubricants, catalysts, and solvents prior to joining NSPF in 2003; he is an inventor on eight patents. He has held leadership positions in various trade association committees and Boards of Directors. Tom has two sons who require him to enjoy cooking and who keep him humble. Tom has earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, the arts, writing and public speaking. He has also finished two marathons.

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  • Michelle Kavanaugh

    Mission Development Director

    Michelle has been with the foundation for almost 12 years. In that 12 years, she has worn many hats and gained experience in all aspects of the company. Now, as Mission Development Director, Michelle is responsible for managing the team that finds training solutions for organizations in the aquatics industry. In addition, she works with the Instructor Education Committee to coordinate and manage the NSPF Instructor Assessment schools for the foundation. In 2010, she was tasked with overseeing the planning of the World Aquatic Health Conference. She strives to make this annual conference the premier educational experience for attendees. Michelle has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado.

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  • Ray Perkins

    Process and Technology Leader

    Ray has specialized in Customer Service delivery for several decades from managing and training teams to designing and implementing customer service (CRM) software packages on four continents. He and his wife Donna like to travel and both enjoy historical research (ask him about his relative who served in Napoleon’s Grande Armée). Ray considers research and data analysis to be “fun”!

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  • Susan Wichmann

    Environmental Health Specialist

    Susan earned a BA in Communications from DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana.  Before joining NSPF in 2010, Susan was a Volunteer Coordinator and Substitute Teacher.  Married for 25 years to a retired Air Force Officer and mom 3 children; Andrew, Megan, and Brad, the family welcomed Andrew’s wife Allison into the family in May.  When not mothering her own children, she’s known as “Mamma Wichmann” to over 30 current cadets and graduates of the Air Force Academy.  Susan enjoys cooking for her family and cadets, going to USAFA football games with friends, sewing, gardening, and photography.  Her latest passion is painting everything in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, including the kitchen cabinets at NSPF headquarters. 

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  • Natalie Strong

    Customer Service/Fulfillment Manager

    Originally from California, Natalie has been a lifeguard and swim instructor for 8 + years, and loves everything aquatics. Growing up she was on the swim team all year around and really believes in the benefits that Aquatics can offer. Natalie is currently working on her BA in Business and is very excited to bring new ideas to the team while managing both Customer Service and Fulfillment. Her passions are the gym, cooking good food, and spending quality hiking time with her two Jackrussells. She recently completed her first Iron Man and is looking forward to her next fitness challenge. 

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  • Charles Jones

    Website Developer

    An Army veteran, Charles joined the NSPF in 2013 after graduating from Colorado Technical University with a BS in Computer Science/Computer Systems Security. He has worked for several companies specializing in developing, designing and maintaining websites. When not working on his own projects, he enjoys working out, playing and making video games, and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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  • Rose Lyda

    Director of Marketing

    Rose Lyda has been a swimmer her whole life, for health and recreation, and as a swim instructor and lifeguard she has developed a great appreciation for aquatic safety. Rose became NAUI certified in Oklahoma, where the most exciting part of the check-out dive was feeding fish Cheerios amid Christmas trees and cars at the bottom of Lake Tahlequah. An elementary teacher by education, Rose has taught in Oregon, Oklahoma, and Moscow, Russia. Recently having completed a Masters in Public Administration, Rose is engaged civically in the local Colorado Springs community in the non-profit, private, and public sectors. A lover of life, Rose enjoys listening to live music and exploring arts and culture. An ideal Saturday is morning yoga in the park, coffee and a visit to the farmers’ market, then cooking with fresh produce. Rose also loves to travel and always packs a swimsuit!

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  • Lauren Stack

    Managing Director Regional Division

    Lauren joined the NSPF leadership team in 2015 as Mission Director – National Accounts. Her experience with the swimming pool and hot tub industry extends back twenty years. In the first half of her career, Lauren found herself in hot water working for Aristech Acrylics, a sheet supplier to the hot tub industry. The latter half was spent working for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals in a variety of capacities. What has kept her in the industry? The people she has met and the friendships and partnerships forged through a shared love and passion for water. Lauren resides in Shaker Heights, OH with her husband, two of her three children and a very dog-like ragdoll cat. She enjoys working out to P90X, snow skiing and being a sports fan – with a strong Pittsburgh bent. She has a BS in Chemistry and an MBA, both from the University of Pittsburgh

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  • Yuri Grijalva

    Mission Development Specialist, International

    Yuri was born in New York however; her family is from Guatemala City. Her family moved back to Guatemala when she was 9 years old so she had the opportunity to learn a second language. Yuri studied business administration in technology and worked for an International Outsourcing company for 8 years in several departments, including training management, customer service, collections, and tech support. Then, she moved to the hospitality industry working for a hotel as an Operations manager. Now, she is a proud member of the National Swimming Pool Foundation family. Yuri is passionate about teaching others and helping them to succeed. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and travel to Guatemala.

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  • Dolores Malocsay

    Executive Assistant to CEO

    Born and educated in southern England, Dolores took lifesaving and swimming courses at a very early age and became a breast-stroke “pacer” for crawl competitors. She came to the States “just for a visit,” but became a permanent resident and met her husband, Zoltan, in Colorado. Because Zol was a Contributing Editor to a magazine publisher, they spent several years traveling, living in a mountain tent and spending two winters with the Mayan Indians in Yucatan. They finally settled down in Colorado and founded Zoltan Designs, wholesalers of original 14k jewelry, and Squeezy Press, publishers of guide books. Dolores also worked in the hospitality industry and was named Manager of the Year at the Antlers Hotel. She continues to enjoy Crystal Park’s 90-degree pool, where she experiments with designing swim-related exercise equipment. Other interests include interior design, gourmet cooking and creative sewing.  

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  • Russ King

    Product Development Specialist

    Russ has recently joined NSPF as our Product Development Specialist, focusing on developing online courses and accompanying printed material. He has been coding since the age of 12 and attended Pike Peak Community College for Graphic and Web Design from 2012 until 2014. At one time, he owned a Graphic and Web Design Company, which has now morphed into a Game Design Firm. As a born and raised Coloradoan, Russ enjoys hiking, camping, aquatic activities, and free-style rock climbing. 

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  • Chris Kovac

    Marketing Specialist

    Chris a native of Colorado has been an outdoor enthusiast since a young age. He enjoys many outdoor activities like fishing, camping, hiking, and swimming. Chris studied business at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in marketing and international business. He has worked in the insurance, banking, and marketing industries before becoming a proud member of the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Marketing Specialist: Chris is responsible for directing marketing initiatives at NSPF, specifically AdWords, SEO, and email campaigns. Our goal is to promote the NSPF brand and continue to keep pools safe and open. Chris is passionate about helping and teaching others. In his spare time, when he is not outdoors, he enjoys volunteering and spending time with his family.

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  • Gabriela R. Armstrong

    Senior Bilingual International Customer Service Specialist

    Born and raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, Gabriela spent her days swimming at the beach. She came to the United States in 2009 to major in Culinary Arts and Hospitality, giving her the extensive training and experience in customer service. Before moving to Colorado Springs, she walked 400 miles on the Camino de Santiago trail located in Spain. She plans on enrolling back in school soon and hopes to one day open her own business in Puerto Rico. Gabriela’s favorite things to do are spending time with her family, exploring the world and learning new languages.

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  • Kirsten Denome

    Senior Fulfillment Specialist

    Originally from Michigan, Kirsten grew up swimming and to this day still enjoys swimming. Whether that be in a pool to a lake or to the fun waves of an ocean. Kirsten plans to go back to school in pursuit of a degree in Healthcare Management. She truly cares about helping others and the benefits of what water safety can offer. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family, and spending time with her 2 cats, Frank and Elfie. Kirsten recently hiked 400 miles on the Camino De Santiago De Compostela from Southern France traveling all the way across the top of Spain. 

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  • Johnathan Nies

    Mission Development Specialist

    Johnathan was born and raised in Colorado Springs. He has worked in aquatics for 6+ years as a lifeguard and swim instructor and has worked as an Assistant Aquatics Director at a local fitness club. He joined the NSPF team as a Mission Development Specialist in February, 2017.  As part of Mission Development, Johnathan will help members of the industry find training solutions that meet their needs.  In his spare time, Johnathan enjoys hiking and spending time with friends and family.  He is currently working on his degree in Fire Science Technology.

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  • Lisa Clemons

    Director of Finance and Administration

    Lisa leads our teams responsible for accounting and I.T. infrastructure and support. She’s a licensed Certified Public Accountant with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Masters in International Management. She has an extensive background working for not-for-profit organizations, both domestic and international, as well as large multi-billion dollar for-profit companies holding management positions in accounting, treasury, economic and financial analysis. She’s successfully led several large projects including international software implementation, multi-million dollar financing facility and not-for-profit accounting systems redesign. Despite years of business suits, she has been known to ride a banana boat off the shore of Thailand and play a little soccer in Uganda. She’s thankful there are no pictures to bear witness! (However, if someone does have a picture, please feel free to send a ransom note!) She’s an avid gardener and pet lover.

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  • Suzan McCoy

    Conference & Events Manager

    Suzan McCoy joined NSPF at the end of January 2018. Suzan has been in event coordination for 12 years planning the local County Fair. Additionally, for the past two years coordinating dirt track races in Colorado. She received her Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University. One of her biggest passions in life is water and swimming. Most all her vacations are centered around water activities like swimming, snorkeling, fishing and even a little surfing. She enjoys living in the country on 40 acres with her husband, youngest son, 2 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Her pride and joy are her three kids with the 2 oldest in college.

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  • Hannah Caproon

    Product Development Manager

    Hannah Caproon joined NSPF in April of 2018, and is responsible for developing engaging and effective learning content. She earned her Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University - Bloomington, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and English from Iowa State University. She has nearly a decade of experience as a technical writer and project manager in the outdoor industry, and is in constant pursuit of learning experiences and improvement projects. Hannah spends her free time training and competing as an elite cyclist, traveling, volunteering in the outdoor and sporting community, and eating her weight in pastries.

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